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excitement of his friends behind increases visibly. Without thinking, the elderly person enters the building. With a wild and un-Aryan howl, the other people of Alos are down on him, pinion him, wreathe him with flowery garlands, and lead him to the temple of Zeus Laphystius, or "The Glutton," where he is solemnly sacrificed on the altar. This was the custom of the good Greeks of Alos whenever a descendant of the house of Athamas entered the Prytaneion. Of course the family were very careful, as a rule, to keep at a safe distance from the forbidden place. "What a sacrifice for Greeks!" as the author of the Minos[1] says in that dialogue which is incorrectly attributed to Plato. "He cannot get out except to be sacrificed," says Herodotus, speaking of the unlucky descendant of Athamas. The custom appears to have existed as late as the time of the scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius.[2]

Even in the second century, when Pausanias visited Arcadia, he found what seem to have been human sacrifices to Zeus. The passage is so very strange and romantic that we quote a part of it.[3] "The Lycæan hill hath other marvels to show, and chiefly this: thereon there is a grove of Zeus Lycæus, wherein may men in nowise enter; but if any transgresses the law and goes within, he must die within the space of one year. This tale, moreover, they tell, namely, that whatsoever man or beast cometh within the grove casts no shadow, and the hunter pursues

  1. 315, c.; Plato, Laws, vi. 782, c.
  2. Argonautica, vii. 197.
  3. Pausanias, viii. 2.